tv Road to the White House CSPAN June 24, 2012 6:30pm-8:00pm EDT
>> student loans. he talked about it. did you hear anything new? >> no. no new arguments or deals. we were hoping to break the story about the big deal on student loans. that did not happen in this interview. we heard the chairman's frustration. will try to get something to go through? our leadership members going to have to pull out the stops to get this passed? can they let this go? >> i think he is prepared to let it go but he prefers that it gets resolved by the end of this week. he says and speaker boehner and others say they have done all they can. the response to the senate democrats is they have offered an alternative, but nothing has
happened. >> other observations? was a big theme. he talked about frustrations with the obama administration kind of, you know, stepping on congressional prerogatives. both on the recent immigration announcement and then also on waivers for the no child left behind act. that takes the wind out of congress' sails. >> this congress -- we do not get many positive words from anyone. it is tough. rich cohen. thank you for being here for "newsmakers." [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2012] >> how do you approach but interviews differently than news reporting interviews? >> i think a book interviews as gathering history. i think of interviewing when i'm working for the news side as gathering contemporary information. >> how difficult is it to remain impartial and not get caught up in the campaign of one side or another? >> i try, as best as i can, to give people a full understanding of what is happening in this campaign. its not that difficult to put your biases to the side. >> howell has social -- how has social media changed your line of work? >> twitter, in particular, it is a primary new source for anyone who covers politics. twitter did not exist four years ago for all practical purposes.
>> tonight, purdue university students in reviewing our reporter from the washington post. >> on tuesday, c-span travel to campaign obama's headquarters in chicago. next, a conversation with obama for america senior strategist david axelrod. we talked about targeting key voters in battleground states. this is about 20 minutes. >> david axelrod, a senior strategist of the obama campaign here in chicago. in any campaign, there are things you can control and cannot control. >> there are two things i'm always considering. 1, external events, particularly
as we watch your, and the -- europe, and the economic impacts of things around the globe. that's a big concern of mine. second, the money that is being spent. we would be the first incumbent president in modern history to be about spent because of the advent of the superpac. we expect $1 billion to be spent against democratic candidates. this is a new development in modern politics. what concerns me is -- these are the things that concern me. what does not concern me is do we have the right candidate? do we have the right message? i think we do. >> all right. talk about the people of around two. what is the message? what is the roadmap to a second term?
what are you telling voters? >> it is a central issue, not just in this campaign, but a central issue of our time -- how do we rebuild our economy so that people who work hard can get ahead, so people are rewarded? everyone gets a fair shake and a fair shot. that's really what it is all about. we've had a longstanding problem before the economy collapsed in 2008. there is more and more pressure on the middle-class. more and more difficulty on working into the middle class. the question is, which candidate has a vision that has at its core the revitalization of the american middle-class? president obama does. that's what his whole life has been about. when you think of the two plans for the future, you can hardly
discern what governor romney's plan is. one looks forward to rebuilding the economy. his looks back to the policies from the last decade that crushed the middle-class. >> but you look at the polling, and you know you're not there yet. in denver, they are saying the president is in trouble. how do you get there? >> i have a huge regard for peter. i think he is one of the best in our business. i would be reluctant to stick an analysis to one focus group. you know, i'm listening all the time. i'm not pollyannaish about this election. i have said it's going to be a close election. it has to be a close election. this is going to be a much closer election.
but voters understand president obama's commitment is with the middle class, that his vision is about building the economy in which they can move ahead. the real question -- there are real questions about governor romney because of his background and what he is proposing now. i think he has a long way to go to build any kind of trust with the american people on this issue. >> is this a choice election or a referendum? >> i think every election is a choice election. i do not think there's ever all -- ever an election where the candidate can step back. there are issues that they do not really want to talk about with mitt romney. they will -- they don't really want to talk about his record. they really don't want to talk about his plans. what was remarkable of those
interviews was how little he was willing to say when he was pressed for specifics on his programs, when he was pressed for specifics on what he would do. and almost every instance, he would not answer the question. he would be an artful dodger. i do not think the american people are going to elect an artful dodger for the president of united states. >> is this going to be a negative campaign with the obama campaign against ronnie's characteristics? >> we began our media campaign in the battleground states in may. we spent $25 million on positive ads on where we have been as a country over the last two and half years and where we're going. we will only continue to make that case. are we going to fill in gaps the governor romney went about his record? yes. its important to have a level playing field so people have a
good comparison. but i think this is about the future and what kind of future we want for our country, for our children. we are a country where people have an expectation that if they work hard, they will get ahead and be rewarded. we are going to be a stronger country if that is the future we pursue. if we go back, thinking we can cut our way to prosperity, cut taxes -- particularly for the wealthy -- cut polluters, and withdraw and hope for the best, i think for going to get the same result we got in 2008 and over the last decade. that has failed. >> let's talk about you. you're a veteran of the news business here in chicago. when did you move into politics? when did you first meet barack
obama? how is this campaign different from four years ago? >> i went to college at the university of chicago. at the tribune, i was a political writer. i covered elections for two and half years, which is a great experience for any journalist. then i cover politics at the bureau chief. i covered a couple of national campaigns. and then paul simon, who was a congressman running for the u.s. senate in 1984, he asked me to come work with him. i thought he was an exemplary guy. i was concerned about what i thought were the trends of the news business, the corporateization of the news business. and i thought in the long term i would be happy with that. so, i went to work for paul. i've been involved in politics ever since.
and opened up a consulting firm after that. then in 1992, a friend of mine here in chicago called me and said "i just met the most remarkable young man. i think you ought to meet him. his name is barack obama." i said, wow. what do you want me to meet him -- why do you want me to meet him? she said, he just came back from harvard law school. she said "i think this guy could be president of the united states son the." -- someday." she knows how to spot winners. >> did you know that? >> no, i knew he was a real bright, motivated by. that did strike me right away. but i did not think immediately this man could be president of united states. the likelihood of a man named
barack obama being elected president in 1992 seemed a somewhat remote prospect. but in the legislature he worked on very difficult issues -- death penalty reform, racial profiling, a series of health care issues. it was clear that he had something special. in 2002, he called me and told me he was going to run for the united states senate. there were other candidates asking for my help, but i really felt like if i could help to theget elected senate, that is something i would be proud of for my whole life. he started off well behind. and closed very fast. there were seven candidates. we ended up getting 63% in
winning in places you would never imagine. barack obama from the south side of chicago. from that point on, the great convention speech and on, it has been an extraordinary journey. >> house is different from four years ago? >> i think it's different because no one could have anticipated even at this time in 2008 exactly what he, and more importantly the country, would face in the coming months. no one could have anticipated that lehman brothers would collapse or wall street would collapse or the economy would collapse, and from the day he walked in the door we would be losing 800,000 jobs a month. we knew the economy had challenges. we knew there was the long-term challenge, which is how do you
build an economy that works for the middle-class tax -- middle- class tax -- middle-class? on the night of the inauguration, we could not anticipate that republican leaders would be meeting. we had this notion that in the midst of a national emergency we could forge a bipartisan effort to heal the nation for all problems, and they had other ideas. senator mcconnell and others have spoken that they would not give him any bipartisan support on any issue, because that would certify he was able to do that. he subsequently said that was an admission of defeat to the president. that has colored much of the last three and a half years. is a difficult environment. so, we had all the winds at our
back in 2000 a. i must say in retrospect, it was a lot smoother sailing than those very same pundits who are writing about us now in less than flattering terms had written about that race as well. we have some experience with this. but there is no doubt that was a once-in-a-lifetime journey. and this is a harder scrap. but in some ways is more important because we are at such a critical juncture as a country. now is not the time to go back to doing what we have to do. we have to push forward, build the economy in which the middle class has a shot. we are only going to do that by reducing our deficit. that has to be a key element of it. there also has to be investment in education, energy, clean
energy technology, the future to create jobs and help break free from the grip of foreign oil. you know, there are so many things that we need to do to move this economy forward. we can be passive. i feel a strong sense of urgency about the selection. >> you have been inside the white house. if the president is reelected, will things be different? will the political environment be different? will be congress be able to work together on the major factors affecting this country? >> snee know what? this is what i believe. i believe there are republicans in washington who would like to work with us and they have indicated that. i have been there for three years. i know several people who would really like to work with the president to solve problems, but the strategy of the republican party is this kind of rain of
terror. any effort towards cooperation is considered a betrayal. people have been throttled and there desires to work together. my belief is when the president wins in november, we're going to liberate these republicans, if you will. it will blink in the light of our brand new day. they will say "you know what? we did it your way, and that was a failure for the country and for the republican party. and now we're going to work together. there may be issues on which we will fight, but where we can agree, we're going to find common ground." i think that is the message his reelection will send. >> but the follow-up on a few points. first of all, the media. how would you size up the state of the media today? >> there is an element of fanaticism -- freneticism that
wasn't there when i worked in the media. the speed of communication. but these things run in episodes. i could have told you at the end of this year -- here is how we are going to run the field. the republicans would look enfeebled. there would be a nominee, and the republicans would rally around that nominee, and the true nature of the race is revealed. and i would have told you that the media would keep that up, and romney is surging, obama is flagging, this is our race. the next phase is going to be -- the media is going to become more alert to the fact that governor romney has been completely evasive about his positions, has been all over,
and has tried to play a game of hide and seek with the american people. i think he will be -- it will be a challenge to challenge him to be more forthcoming. than the story will be back for a while. this is the nature of this business. you just have to run through the spaces. ultimately, the american people's genuine analysis of who these men are and where they want to leave the country is the issue. >> finally, will there be three presidential debates? what is your approach? >> i think we will announce each one shortly. the tradition has been 3. and one vice-presidential debate. my expectation is that is what will happen. but no one can sign on the dotted line no. -- bottom-line yet.
this is ultimately such an important decision for the american people. to see them on the platform actually talking substantively about where they want to leave the country. it certainly will be a contest of innovation. these are two different views about how we want to move forward. i would argue one is about moving forward and the other is about moving back. so, that is a debate worthy of having and we should have it. >> is this your last campaign? >> you know, i know my wife is a c-span watcher, so i have to say yes, this is my last campaign. i have gone on to the university of chicago. my hope is to encourage young people to go into this arena, either as a strategist let myself or candidate and policymaker, a journalist. we need people to be part of the
process. i tell them all -- you may have reservations, but the answer is not to steer away, but rather to change it. the decisions made in washington and in state capitols and city halls all over this country are going to impact on things you care about. either you participate or you have to accept the verdict. that is my mission after the selection. >> david axelrod, thank you for your time. >> great to be with you. >> located just a block from revealed, for president campaign was headquartered four years ago back in 2008, the obama for america office in chicago is downtown. the campaign takes up the entire floor of what used to be a law firm. it consists of 300 paid staffers and on any given day
an estimated 100 volunteers. the office has a news room-like set up with apartments for travel, communications, fundraising, social media, and advanced operations, all working side-by-side. president's reelection team has decided to keep the headquarters in chicago. here's what it looks like. >> all right, yeah. [indisinct chatter]
>> president obama's re-election headquarters is located in downtown chicago. you can get more video by logging on to our web site -- c- span.org/eelction2012. >> where are we? >> we opened the doors here on april 4, 2011 and began this operation really with a focus. that's what we based the campaign in chicago in the first place. we have been laser focus on the battleground states across the country. most of the folks here are dedicated to building that
organization. the field offices. the finance. funding that field office. finding where the undecided voters are, what their priorities are, how they are responding to the president and his agenda. that is what we will be focused on right up until the election. >> how is this operation different from your standpoint? >> if you take a look around, we are not surrounded by cable television, which you might be in washington, d.c. we do debates and that something would participate in and follow each week. but we have at decoders' -- educators designing new software. we have -- we are dialed into
the operation in iowa. and wisconsin and florida and virginia. the entire focus is making sure those field offices are getting the resources that they need, making sure they are aware of what is happening. most people still get there news from bill local newscast. -- their people can see communications from the campaign directly that are not and 8 second clip on the news. they will get people product from the campaign. in the course of a few years, campaigns have really changed. twitter has entirely changed the pace of the national news conversation. everybody is a wiry reporter.
things happen quickly, often in 24 hours. the news is on an entirely different topic. we try to remain relevant to the conversation and the priorities voters are sharing with us. >> on any given day, one issue or one sound bite might drive box, msn b.c., or -- drive fox, msnbc or cnn. how do you deal with that? >> that was a different discussion on cable news and in the northeast corridor that it was in cleveland, than it was in pittsburgh. we are really tune in to what is happening on the ground in --
ground in states. there were some surveys done after the fact and a couple of other surveys done in states that said people had serious concerns about that portion of romney's tenure and they objected to him profiting and outsourcing jobs. we separate what is on cable from what the conversation is in the states. being here in chicago with the pope is 100% on state activity is critically important in allowing us to make that distinction. >> you are micro-targeting to a narrow constituency of putin joe voters. how does that work? >> -- of potential voters. how does that work. >> i would not call it narrow.
take a look at the latinos. health care ranks at the top of their priorities. 70% of latinos are supportive of health care reform and the provisions in it. we can indicate specifically on the priorities that are important to the latino population. there is a conversation specifically on how health care will affect them. we stick to latinos on issues that are important to them, too soon years on issues that are important to them. -- to seniors on issues that are important to them. it is important for us to remain relevant to the priorities voters are telling us they have. >> how does that affect the overall strategy you are putting
forth? >> the election will pivot on the conversation the president outlined in cleveland last week, which was who has the best agenda to create jobs and build a sustainable economy that allows america to out-innovate and out-educate the rest of the world. certainly, for women, there is another conversation that is taking place. they believe in equal pay for equal work. that was legislation the president signed right away when he came into office. ronnie's campaign said they would get back to us on their position. he said he would get rid of -- from the's campaign said they would get back to us on their romney's campaign
said they would get back to us. >> you have looked at the demographics. how do you go after them? >> it speaks to the agenda we were talking about. the president came into office in the midst of a severe economic crisis. we knew this would be a close campaign given the historic challenges that face the nation when the president came into office. we go into those communities and have conversations with voters about the things the president has fought for over past three years and what he will do moving forward. we have been losing manufacturing jobs since 1997. because of the decisions the president made, we have seen a resurgence in that sector. many of these towns where manufacturing was the backbone of their economy -- we have seen them began to turn around.
we will have a conversation about whether or not you want to continue that progress or three want to go back to the same policies that caused the economic crisis in the first place -- making the middle-class pay for tax cuts for the wealthy. >> you are a veteran of politics. what is your background and how did you get to where you are today? >> first of all, it grow up in and around chicago, politics is in your blood. you read many articles in the paper about it every day. outside of the area, i may have been a freakish child. it is in your blood if you grow up around here. i in turn for congresswoman schakowsky on capitol hill. -- i interned for congress and
schakowsky on capitol hill. then i worked for her as her press secretary. i worked for then-congress went -- then-congressman sherrod brown. and i worked on mayor emanuel's campaign for mayor. >> the social media and digital age we live in. how does that change your part in the rapid response in a diverse marketplace? >> we experienced more things directly now. we are finding that more and more voters to not get their news through the nightly network evening news like they
used to. particularly young people and certain demographics of latinos. they tend to get their news more digitally. we will make a video that tells a story within a few minutes. we operate across platforms, when a that is facebook, whether that is twitter. i still don't really understand what pintris is, but somebody here is working on that. we never forget about the local news in key states, whether it is the local paper or the local morning news. those are critically important platforms for us. those elected officials and other search is holding events on behalf of the president several times a week in key markets in key states across the country. >> will this campaign come down to 9-12 states?
>> i think it will come down to a certain set of swing states. not too long ago, our campaign manager outlined several paths to victory. we wanted it never to come down to be back that the democrats had in 2000 and 2004. are you going to put all of your resources in one state or two states? we have several pass -- paths to victory. one that relies on the west and one that relies on the industrial west. we are building a constituency across the country. the question is, romney miss b
persuasion period -- miss the persuasion period. there is a question on whether republicans miss the window on that. >> what is the narrative in this campaign and how do you think the narrative with mitt romney? >> it is what people across the country have experienced. the president entered the office at a time of historic economic crisis. we were hemorrhaging jobs. the auto industry was on the brink. he made decisions under those circumstances that allowed things to reverse course. businesses have created more than 4.3 million jobs in the private sector. the manufacturing sector had been in decline.
we have created five and did thousand jobs. gm is the number 1 automaker in the world. even before the economic crisis, if you are a middle-class family, it is getting harder to send your kids to college and make ends meet. the president thought for economic security for the middle class. that involved investments in education, investment in research and development to spur innovation and take control of america's energy future. mitt romney and the republicans in congress have a barry different view. -- very different view. that we should strip back regulations for banks and polluters and the market will take care of that. we pass tax cut -- tax cuts for the wealthy in 2003. instead of unleashing growth and
job creation, it led to be -- the slowest growth we have seen in half a century. >> we have a high unemployment rate among college graduates. there is a feeling that we are not moving fast enough and we are not moving in the right direction. you know the romney campaign is going to go after you on that? how do you get to be disaffected voters who are not sure? >> i think there is a broad understanding that we faced the largest recession since the great depression and we were not going to get out of these challenges overnight. who is providing opportunity for them and who is focused on them? you talk about recent college graduates. the president has provided $10,000 tax credit to pursue higher education.
the present double funding for college scholarships. the president has been fighting for other important priorities. he ended the war in iraq in a responsible way. mitt romney would have kept 10,000 troops there. we can end our involvement over there. for young people, romney told a student to shop around if he was looking for cheaper tuition. he cut funding for college scholarships by 20%. he has a record that contradicts the case he has been making on the campaign trail. he campaigns as a job creator. but his candidacy is based on a false premise. in the private sector, he bankrupt companies and outsourced jobs. he said he would be an economic mr. fix it because of his experience as a corporate buyout
specialist. he came into government making the same promises he is making today. massachusetts is 36th out of 50 and he left the state with the highest per person dead in the country. the question is, if it did not work and then, why would it work now? >> this operation has the feel of a newsroom. how does it all come together? >> we want to make sure everybody has access to each other. we have physically broken down walls. departments are working together. it is designed in a way for maximum accessibility. in some of the more interesting steps, we have regional pods where we focus on the
battleground states. you can walk over to the midwestern pod and you would have a communications stafford, a digital stafford, a political staff are -- staffer, a digital dtaff. -- staff. they can elevate issues here and as they come to our attention, those issues are dealt with. it might look like a startup operation more than it does a traditional campaign. we have expanded quickly. the way in which it is set up, everybody is able to flag the problems and have a conversation with whomever they need to reach. >> you have 300-400 people on the same floor? what is a typical day like for
you? >> we are one hour behind out here. that is the only drawback to being in chicago. it starts early, but it is different for people in different departments. we are up before the morning shows to make sure we have seen the news and make sure we are lagging important news -- flagging news. we are looking for events and press releases. romney has been on the trail constantly for the past year, but the president has been focused on the best possibilities the american people elected him to carry out. many times, we are preparing events in states that don't involve him. we mainly support events that he
attends. if you are a field staffer, most of your activity during the day is preparation for the night when you have volunteers reaching out to voters and you are preparing to build an event in the area. there are different schedules. somebody is up at all hours operating some piece of the campaign. >> on your experience in 2004 and now in 2012, what is more challenging? to work for a candidate as a challenger or to work for an income and? >> they are different. when you are a challenger, it is a little bit easier for the candidate sometimes because they do not always have a record that they are getting into -- 16 different pieces of the record. they have one thing they are hitting on the trail about the incumbent every day. in some ways, you have that.
but it is harder for a challenger to get attention in the media at the same level as you might as an incumbent. as an incumbent, you have more of a bully pulpit a lot of the time. you are held responsible for events around the world. that is a distinction. i do not think it is easier or harder. i just think the way the media portrays the candidacy tends to be different. >> does that bother you that there are things you cannot control? >> the president is somebody whose stature on the international stage is known. he ran on a series of promises on foreign policy that he has fulfiled. he said he would end the war in iraq in a response away. he has done that. he said he would refocus on al
qaeda and take terrorists of the battlefield. he has done that. americans have seen him operate on a global stage and they know his capacity to rally an international coalition and to deal with challenges the united states might face. it is a strength for him. >> you have four months left in the campaign. walk us through the strategy. what will you see up to the debates and in the final 10 days of the election? >> more activity by the president and vice president, engaging directly with voters out there along the campaign trail. you will see a more direct exchange of ideas between the candidates whether that takes place at the conventions where they are not directly addressing each other or later in the
debates. i think the operation we are holding on the ground will move from persuasion to turn out. at some point, it will be clear which voters each campaign is trying to reach. the number of persuade the voters will shrink and it will come time to run and -- persuadable voters will shrink and it will come time to run an aggressive campaign. we will get as many eligible voters to participate in to the polls as possible. the republicans tend to have a different view as you can see which the measures they are pursuing in the states to restrict access. we want to make sure as many voters as possible are able to turn out to the polls and that they are -- there are not any tricks to keep them away from the polls. we have a voter protection
effort to make sure our eligible voters are turning out to the polls. the heart of the debate has already been outlined. the president believes that requires the sort of investment we talked about in education, research and development, and infrastructure. that is the core question the president and governor romney will be debating. >> republicans say they want to make sure that if you are not a legal resident, you should not vote in this country. >> i do not think there is a threat of that. the voting clause we have on the books in the states -- we have not seen an influx of undocumented immigrants voting. we have seen them purging the roles of the eligible voters in
the state of florida. we have seen access restricted for somebody who has moved between states but who is an eligible voter. a woman who changed her name because she got remarried or got separated. we have seen wholesale eligible voters hit hard by the impact of these policies. students across the state of wisconsin. there are two parts of this effort. number one, ensuring that voters are not disqualified and number to making sure voters are notified about the rules in their state. >> how is the campaign trying to go after the barbershop worker or the student or the senior citizen?
>> 8 years ago, we would have asked you to get all of your undecided france together at your home for a cup of coffee or a -- france -- friends together for a cup of coffee. people communicate differently now. you can use your many means of digital contact to reach out to your friends. it is not necessary to hold that living room coffee unless that is something you do for your friend. -- with your friends. >> is this fun for you? >> campaigns are tiring. they are always worth it. it is worth it to wake up every day knowing you are fighting for something you believe in, now
when you are fighting for a candidate and an agenda you believe in. that always gets you do -- through the tough for days and be sleepless nights. >> ben labolt, thank you for giving us insight into the campaign. >> here is a look at president's obama -- president obama's scheduled this week. president obama meets with the crown prince of abu dabi to discuss regional issues. continuing wrote to the white house coverage on the c-span networks, c-span radio, and on our web site, c-span.org. >> this week on "after words," a
discussion on fast and furious. >> there are hundreds of mexican citizens who have been murdered as a result of this. the only thing we knew outside a big government program was that american gun dealers were going into mexico and causing all of these problems with the cartel. the government was sanctioning these sales and sending them into mexico. >> tonight at 9:00 p.m. parts of book tv on c-span 2. >> republican presidential candidate mitt romney spoke thursday at the national association of latino elected officials. he criticized president obama's decision to halt the deportation.
>> thank you for that generous introduction. i appreciate the chance to be with you today. i am delighted to be invited to your annual conference. it is an honor to be among so many dedicated, elected officials. i come to you as a candidate for the president of the united states of america, and i will govern from the principle that while this is an extraordinary land of diversity, there is much more that unites us than there is that divides us. [applause] each of us wants a different path in life, but we are united by one great overwhelming passion. we love the united states of america. we believe in america. we are one nation under god. today we are united not only by our faith in america, we are
also united by our concern for america. the country we love is in peril. that is why i am running for president. almost four years ago, the american people did something that was very much the sort of thing americans like to do. we gave someone new a chance to leave, someone who we had not known very long, who did not have much of a record, but promised to lead us to a better place. at the time, we did not know what kind of a president he would be. it was a moment of crisis for our economy, and when barack obama came into office, america wished him well and hope for the best. three and a half years later, over 23 million americans are out of work, unemployed, underemployed or simply quit looking for a job. at a time when we should be gaining momentum in the economy, we are actually losing it right now. job growth slowed and this week
we learned that the number of job openings has slowed again. and as you know, hispanics have been hit disproportionately hard. while the national unemployment is still above 8% and has been for 40 straight months, hispanic unemployment is at 11%. the middle class under president obama has been crushed. more americans are living in poverty today than at any point in american history. over two million more hispanics are living in poverty today than the day when president obama took office. home values have plunged. our national debt is at record levels and families are buried under higher prices for things like food and gasoline. and yet the president has said the private sector is doing fine. this is more than a policy failure. it is a moral failure.
i know the president will say that he inherited the economic crisis, and that is true. but we should not allow the challenges he faced four years ago to divert our attention from another important fact. the president pursued policies that have made this the slowest recovery since the great depression. and he broke promises many people were counting on to build a brighter future. it did not have to be this way. just compare this president's record with the first term of ronald reagan. president reagan also faced an economic crisis. in fact, in 1982, the unemployment rate peaked nearly 11%. but in the two years that followed, just two years, he delivered a true recovery. economic growth and job creation were three times higher than in the obama economy. if president obama had delivered a real recovery, a reagan recovery, we would have 5 million more jobs today. 5 million more.
the unemployment rate would be about 6%, and our economy would be at least one trillion dollars larger. now tomorrow, president obama will speak here. of course, that is the first time he has spoken years since his last campaign. he may admit that he has not kept every promise. he may say that even though you are not better off today than you were four years ago, things could be worse. he will imply that he did not really have an alternative. i believe he is taking your vote for granted. i come here today with a simple message. you do have an alternative. your vote should be respected. your voice is more important now than ever before and your vote should be respected. this november, we are going to make a choice. we can continue along the path
we're on, or we can choose a better way. instead of continuing with the policies of the last three and a half years, we can revitalize our economy. we can lead the world, as we have, in what we invent and build and create. let me make this clear. this is the only way we can strengthen the middle class and create sustained prosperity. raising taxes to grow government does not grow the middle class. today, i'm asking you to join me because while we might not agree on everything, we share the same goal, the same vision, and the same belief in american greatness that draws so many people to our shores. liberty's torch can burn just as brightly for future generations of immigrants as it has burned in the past. we now our businesses cannot succeed, grow, and hire more workers without a competitive tax system. that is why i am going to lower
our corporate tax rate and reduce individual tax rates by 20% across the board. we also know that our families and businesses need more reliable energy. expanding our resources will create jobs and generate revenues. it will also bring manufacturing back to our shores. you will see a manufacturing resurgence if we get the policy right. we now our economy cannot grow of we're mortgaging our future to pay for the big government programs of today. think about that. we cannot keep borrowing massively more than we taken without putting the country in peril. as president, i will rein in spending and i will get the budget balanced. and i will repeal obamacare. we cannot afford another $2 trillion entitlement.
[applause] everybody likes free stuff, but there is no free stuff when the government has to pay and tax the american people or borrow from future generations. in obamacare, in one study, 73% of business owners said that obamacare has made it harder for them to hire people. think about that. almost 3/4 of small businesses saying obamacare is making them less likely to hire people. if jobs are your priority, you have to get rid of obamacare and put in place real reform that works. repealing obamacare will give businesses what they need to expand and to grow. we can also jump-start the economy by expanding trade. as you know, the president has
not created a single new trade agreement with a latin american nation. he has also failed to crack down on china. our kids cannot succeed if they are trapped in failing schools. as president, i will give the parents of every low income and special needs students the chance to choose where their child goes to school. [applause] when it comes to education, a choice for every parent means a chance for every child. an effective immigration system can also strengthen the economy as it has since the nation's founding. unfortunately, despite his promises, president obama has failed to address immigration reform. for two years, this president had huge majorities in the house and senate. he was free to pursue any policy he pleased, but he did nothing to advance a permanent fix for
our broken immigration system. nothing. instead he failed to act until facing a tough re-election and trying to secure your vote. last week the president finally issued a temporary measure. he called it a "stop-gap" measure. he seems to think it will be just enough to get him through the election. after 3 and a half years of putting every issue from loan guarantees to his donors, to cash for clunkers, putting all those things before immigration, he has been seized by an overwhelming need to do what he could have done on day 1, but didn't. i think you deserve better. some people have asked if i will let stand the president's executive order. the answer is, i will put in place my own long-term solution which will replace and supersede the president's temporary measure. as president, i won't settle
for stop-gap measures. i'll work with republicans and democrats to build a long-term solution and i'll prioritize measures that strengthen legal immigration and make it more transparent and easier, and i will address the problem of illegal immigration in a civil and resolute manner. we may not always agree, but when i make a promise to you, i will keep it. let me speak about some of the guidelines i will use in putting together that policy. as you've heard me say many times, it is critical that we redouble our efforts to secure the borders that means preventing illegal border crossings and making it harder to illegally overstay a visa. we should field enough border patrol agents, complete a high- tech fence and implement an improved exit verification
system. our immigration system should help promote strong families as well, and not keep them apart. [applause] our nation benefits when moms and dads are kids are all together under the same roof. but today too many families are caught in a broken system, costing time and money and entangles the in excessive red tape. for those seeking to come to america the right way, that kind of bureaucratic nightmare has to end, and we can do this with just a few common sense reforms. as president, i'd reallocate green cards to those seeking to keep their families under one roof, and will exempt from caps the spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents -- [applause] and will eliminate other forms of bureaucratic red tape that keep families from coming together.
immigration reform is not just a moral imperative. it's also an economic necessity. immigrants with advanced degrees start companies, and they drive innovation at a very high rate. immigrants founded or co- founded nearly half of our top 50 venture-backed companies in the u.s. nearly half. they are nearly 30% more likely to start a business and that kind of risk-taking is something we need more than ever because new business start-ups in america are at a 30-year low. i'll work with states and employers to update our temporary worker program so that it meets economic needs, and if you get an advanced degree here, we want you to stay here so, i'd staple a green card to the diploma of someone who gets an advanced degree in america. [applause]
we want the best and brightest to enrich the nation with the jobs and technology they are going to create. now, we also have a strong tradition in this country of honoring immigrants who join our military and put their lives on the line to keep the country safe. since september 11, 2001, the u.s. has naturalized almost 75,000 members of the armed forces. too many of those patriots died on distant battlefields for our freedom before receiving full citizenship here in the country they called home. as president i will stand for a path to legal status for anyone who is willing to stand up and defend this great nation through military service. [applause] those who have risked their lives in the defense of america have earned their right to make their life in america.
but improving access to legal immigration is only one part of the equation. we must also make legal immigration more attractive than illegal immigration so that people are rewarded for waiting patiently in line. that's why my administration will establish a strong, employment verification system so that every business can know with confidence that the people it hires are legally eligible for employment. we can find common ground here, and we have got to. we owe it to ourselves as americans to ensure that our country remains a land of opportunity, both for those that are born here and for those that share our values, respect our laws, and want to come to our shores. throughout my campaign i have often had the chance to speak about my dad and how proud i am of him. he was born to american parents living in mexico. when he was 5, they left everything behind and started over in the united states.
his dad, my grandfather, was a builder and he went bust more than once. my grandfather did not make much money. there were times in my dad's life when he lived in poverty. but my grandfather had big hopes for my dad and tried to help him as best he could. my dad did not finish college, but he believed in the country where the circumstances of one's birth were not a barrier to achievement, and he was not afraid of hard work. he held odd jobs, putting up plasterboard, selling paint. he was lucky enough to live in america where hard work can turn aspirations into realities. after he became a man of the business world, he got the opportunity to lead a great car company, and ultimately, he became the governor of the great state, the state of michigan. this is my father's story, but it could be the story of any american. most of you here today are
leaders in your community. you are here because you have benefited from the land of opportunity and you want to give back to this country, to fight for its people so they have the same chance to succeed. we are truly one america. everyone here as made this exceptional nation what it is today. this is not an election about two people. this is not an election about being a republican nor a democrat or independent. this is an election about the future of america. i would ask each of you to honestly look at the last three and a half years and ask whether we can do better. is the america of 11% hispanic unemployment the america of our dreams? we can do better. we can prosper again. with the powerful recovery we have all been waiting for, the good jobs that some many people
need, and above all, the opportunities we owe to our children and our grandchildren. i will do that. i will make that happen with your help and your support. thank you so much and god bless this great land. thank you. [applause] ♪ >> ♪ i was born free i was born free i was born free born free free like a river raging free like the grand canyon wild like an untamed stallion
like a river raging strong as the wind i'm facing chasing dreams and racing father time deep like the grand this canyon wild like an untamed stallion you can knock me down and watch the bleed but you can keep no chains on me i was born free i was born free born free and i'm not good at long goodbyes
>> mitt romney was holding meetings this weekend in utah. we talked about the tuesday primary boats -- vote in utah. >> thomas burr is following the story. he is on the phone. tell us what is going on this weekend and who is in attendance. >> these are his top donors, his policy experts, republican bigwigs. we are talking jeb bush, paul ryan. the list goes on and on. they had a strategy session.
they can get up close and personal with the candidate. they can offer their suggestions on what the campaign should do and what it from the presidency would look like. >> you mentioned that karl rove is in attendance. he is one of the people behind american crossroads and crossroads gps. we have learned from mitt romney that there is a clear line between what his campaign is doing and these outside interest groups. is there anything illegal about karl rove and these outside interest groups to be to -- to be at this event? >> karl rove gave a presentation on the media yesterday. that is fine as long as they are not trying to coordinate the campaign efforts our messaging. >> what about mike levitt, who
is involved in the transition. and they are searching for a running mate. some key members of congress are included in potential running mate. >> we have seen them meeting with people. beth meyers was spotted drinking a glass of wine and talking to donors. there are a kind of people who are going to be on the short list. tim pawlenty, john thune. paul ryan was there. one of the people on the short list was not there and that was marco rubio. he says he has been on the road for many months and he does not like to spend more than 15 days
away from his kids. there is speculation that he is being vetted. >> there does seem to be a rehearsal process with many of these candidates. potential running mates campaigning with mitt romney, including tim pawlenty, the former governor of minnesota and paul ryan, who was with him in wisconsin. >> we never really know who they are looking at. they want to keep the list long so that the speculation is out there for a while. they do not want to narrow it down to one person. they want to surprise people. his campaign manager and top aide are the only ones who know what is going on right now. >> is this unusual for a presumptive nominee to hold this kind of meeting with donors and
fundraisers? >> it is not unusual to have something like this. it has been done in presidential campaigns before. the only thing that is different is how big this thing is. it has been called republican- palooza. usually, it is more of a low-key event. >> what do you think karl rove is telling these donors as he meets with them? >> i am sure it is a positive message. he is saying, look, we have a chance to win this thing. we are doing well in the polls and we have a good chance. we may need some help. >> thomas burr is following the story in salt lake city. thank you for joining us live on this sunday morning. >> tomorrow on "washington
journal," a look at legislation in congress. and the impact on congressional districts if congress does not act on the bourse tax cut. "washington journal," live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> we welcome you to the governor's manchin. -- mansion. >> his granddaughter wrote the book goodnight, moon, which is a favorite of many of the school children.
>> july 7 and 8, "book tv" goes inside the governor's mansion. >> he went into the dining room and proceeded to feed his or spokes out of this plate. the comment was, he should probably not be feeding his horse in the governor's manchin. -- mansion. his comment was, i have received more people in this home with less minutes than my horse has. >> next, on "q & a," and